Archived — Government of Canada Supports Advanced Defence Industry Wireless Network Research and Development

Ottawa, December 18, 2009—The Honourable Gordon O'Connor, Minister of State and Chief Government Whip, representing the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, today announced a $9.7-million repayable investment for BelAir Networks Inc. (BelAir) to develop wireless networking technologies that will improve defence industry communications. This investment is being made through the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI).

"The defence industry's need for robust, reliable and highly secure wireless networks is greater than ever before," said Minister Clement. "This investment will help meet this need, ensuring that modern-day military operations are conducted in the most efficient and secure way possible."

Through this $32.3-million project, BelAir will develop and introduce a new set of hardware and software capabilities for its wireless networking product line that will improve the capacity, reach and security of networks used by defence industries for surveillance, communications, video transmission and other essential tasks. The research and development for this project will also contribute to Canada's highly skilled and knowledge-based workforce.

"Our government's support of Ottawa-area tech firms signals confidence in this vital part of the National Capital Region's marketplace," said Minister O'Connor, who represents the eastern Ontario riding of Carleton–Mississippi Mills.

BelAir will collaborate with federal and academic partners, including the Communications Research Centre Canada and Carleton University.

"With the help of this SADI investment, BelAir is making significant wireless networking improvements that will benefit global defence forces," said Bernard Herscovich, BelAir's President and CEO. "This project will also help our company maintain its position as a world leader in the wireless networking industry."

SADI supports strategic industrial research and pre-competitive development projects in the aerospace, defence, space and security industries. SADI is managed by the Industrial Technologies Office, a special operating agency of Industry Canada with a mandate to advance leading-edge research and development by Canadian industries.

For further information (media only), please contact:

Lynn Meahan
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Tony Clement
Minister of Industry
613-995-9001

Media Relations
Industry Canada
613-943-2502


Backgrounders

Government of Canada Invests $9.7 Million in Advanced Wireless Networking Technology

The Government of Canada is making a repayable investment of $9.7 million in a $32.3-million research and development (R&D) project being undertaken by BelAir Networks Inc. (BelAir). The company is developing advanced wireless networking technologies that will improve the security of defence-related communications. This investment is being made through the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI).

Through this project, BelAir will develop and introduce a new set of hardware and software capabilities for its wireless mesh networking product line.

Mesh networking is a way to route data through a web of connection points, or "nodes", rather than in a strictly linear fashion. These reliable networks can still operate when a particular connection fails because they allow data to hop from node to node, following a different path until the destination is reached.

Defence industries depend on reliable and highly secure networks for a variety of applications, including surveillance, communications, and video capabilities.

This SADI-supported project will allow BelAir to innovate and adapt its wireless mesh networking technologies to improve their capacity, reach, and security while meeting rigorous military communication security and encryption standards.

This project will help enhance the highly skilled and knowledge-based Canadian workforce. BelAir will collaborate with federal and academic partners, such as the Communications Research Centre Canada and Carleton University. The company expects to engage co-op students over the course of the project.

BelAir is a private Canadian company based in Kanata, Ontario, with additional offices in Europe and Asia, and a wholly owned subsidiary (BelAir Networks Corp.) in the United States. It is a world leader in the design and deployment of broadband wireless mesh network products.

SADI supports private sector industrial research and pre-competitive development in Canada's aerospace, defence, security and space industries through repayable investments. For more information about SADI, please visit the Industrial Technologies Office website.

The Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative

The Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI) supports strategic industrial research and pre-competitive development projects in the aerospace, defence, space and security (A&D) industries.

Launched on April 2, 2007, this new initiative was developed with three key objectives in mind:

  1. to encourage strategic research and development (R&D) that will result in innovation and excellence in new products and services;
  2. to enhance the competitiveness of Canadian A&D companies; and
  3. to foster collaboration among research institutes, universities, colleges and the private sector.

New funding announced for SADI will be spread over four years, starting in 2010. It will ensure that the program has enough money to meet its current obligations and an anticipated increase in demand in the future.

By investing in strategic R&D projects, SADI contributes to the development of technologies that focus on next-generation products or services, build on Canadian strengths and enable Canadian companies to participate in major platforms.

SADI is administered with high standards of transparency and accountability by the Industrial Technologies Office. All project applications undergo extensive evaluation using a clear and rigorous process with published assessment criteria. These criteria include the company's ability to achieve the stated objectives, the project's technology benefits, and the expected social and economic benefits. SADI is consistent with Canada's international trade obligations.

All Canadians receive value from SADI's contributions through the technological and economic benefits that result from supported R&D projects. These benefits include spinoffs in diverse sectors of the economy, such as nanotechnology and information technology, as well as the development of collaborative partnerships with universities, colleges and research institutions. Contributions to R&D made through SADI will also contribute to high-quality employment opportunities; strengthen Canada's workforce with talented scientists, engineers and researchers; and leverage private sector investments in R&D.

Canada's A&D industries are recognized around the world for producing leading-edge products and services. Domestically, these industries are important economic drivers in all regions of the country and are collectively significant players in the development of Canada's knowledge-based economy. Among the world leaders, Canada's A&D industries offer competitive and innovative solutions and are backed by a highly skilled workforce.

The Industrial Technologies Office is a special operating agency of Industry Canada with a mandate to advance leading-edge R&D by Canadian industries.

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